Canadian Priest Gambles Away $386,000 in Donations Earmarked for Iraqi Refugees

Canadian Priest Gambles Away $386,000 in Donations Earmarked for Iraqi Refugees

A Canadian priest in Ontario has admitted to losing more than CDN$500,000 (US$386,000) in charitable funds that were supposed to help Iraqi refugees looking for asylum within the eastern Canadian province.

Canadian priest Amer Saka gambled away more than $380,000 in funds raised that were allowed to be utilized to aid Iraq refugees. No charges were filed against the Ontario man of the fabric.

Father Amer Saka associated with the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church told Bishop Emanuel Shaleta in that he had gambled away all the money, which had been collected through parishioner donations february. The Chaldean Church is headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq, and goes back towards the century that is 1st though Saka’s parish in London, Ontario was established less than five years ago with Pope Benedict XVI’s blessing.

‚We believe Father Saka has a serious gambling issue and that these funds may are utilized for that function,‘ Shaleta told the Toronto Star. ‚I was called by hi . . . and said he lost all the cash.‘

Unholy Happenings

The roughly $386,000 was deposited into a free account entrusted to Saka by families belonging to St. Joseph’s. The finances had been supposed to be safeguarded by the church and used to assist incoming refugees from Iraq.

The Chaldean refugee sponsorship program requires donors to aid migrants for no less than one after they arrive in Canada year.

‚They didn’t offer this cash as a donation due to their church,‘ Shaleta stated. ‚They trusted him, this cash wasn’t for him. It would be to get back to the refugees [once they arrived here].‘

It’s unclear what Saka’s game of choice was in the casino, or which location or venues he frequented.

Regardless, it’s still another eye that is black the Catholic Church, once the religion continues to be coping with persistent claims of sexual abuse within its company. Just this month, a state grand jury in Pennsylvania discovered that more than 50 priests and religious leaders within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona sexually abused and raped children more than a 40-year period.

No charges that are formal been levied on Saka, but an investigation by the London Police Service is ongoing. Saka has since checked to the Southdown Institute, an Ontario addiction and health that is mental center for clergy members.

Are Church Donations Secure?

While Saka tries to overcome their gambling addiction, parishes across the country might want to have a closer look at their bank accounts, as the St. Joseph incident might be miniscule should additional priests try their hand at the casino with money that’s not theirs.

In February, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCBC) announced a campaign that is joint the Canadian Catholic Organization for developing and Peace, help towards the Church in want Canada, and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association Canada, in which it had raised over $3.5 million.

The CCBC charity funds will apparently be distributed to Syrian refugees seeking safety in the Middle East and components of Europe. What type of safeguards have been set up, if any, to guard the donations and also make sure they reach refugees is unclear.

With regard to the donors and refugees, we can only pray that the $3.5 million is being better secured than the contributions collected by St. Joseph’s.

It should go without saying that priests aren’t permitted to participate in gambling activities, particularly with parishioner monies, but to reinforce that notion, Shaleta explained that ‚it’s up against the rules‘ for the Catholic priesthood.

Washington, D.C. Always a Political Gamble, But Could a casino that is actual to Nation’s Capital?

Washington, D.C., is a powerhouse of intrigue, bluffs, and gambles, but that reality could 1 day extend to a real casino that is land-based the District, if a group funded by the anonymous firm in Delaware get its means.

Maybe not the many location that is glamorous pull tourists to, but backers of the Washington, D.C., casino are pushing an initiative in hopes of revitalizing the bad and crime-ridden (but historic) Anacostia neighborhood. (Image:

A group called the people Committee meant for the Limited Gaming Initiative of 2016 is attempting to place a referendum on the ballot this November in the District of Columbia, asking area voters to determine whether casino-style gambling should be legalized in the downtown area.

Committee Chairperson Berry Jerrels, a longtime Washington political activist and businessman, wants to place poker, blackjack, and other card games in the historic region of Anacostia, named for the river located to its eastern.

The region had been initially a stronghold of the Nacochtank Indian tribe, whom were forced out by Colonial settlers as far straight back as 1608, when Captain John Smith of Pocahontas popularity moved through. Fast-forward 400 years, and the wampum that is latest can be in the proper execution of casino potato chips to enhance the area’s coffers and job options.

‚It’s about job training, real jobs, new income for the city, as well as an elevated, regulated video gaming experience for visitors,‘ Jerrels told WAMU 88.5, initial outlet to report in the casino developments. ‚Our goal is always to target the population that is visiting of District.‘


Jerrels‘ desire to attract and benefit off tourists visiting the capital appears fine written down. However, the truth is that few sightseers venture over the Anacostia River away from the downtown National Mall area.

A DC-based realtor that is commercial us that the Anacostia neighborhood is one associated with city’s poorest, and house to a good amount of crime and drug activity.

Based on data compiled from the United States Census Bureau and FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Anacostia features a 207 percent higher crime price than the average that is national and a resident for the area has a one in 11 chance of becoming a victim of a nasty crime.

Regional residents additionally never appear too thrilled about bringing casino gambling to the community.

‚It just generally seems to me personally that the intersection that has name that is such of the same quality Hope and MLK . . . [it doesn’t make sense] that you would decimate that boulevard with some gambling facility,‘ Anacostia Economic Development Corporation President Stanley Jackson said.

Many Obstacles to Overcome

Many hurdles stand in Jerrels‘ course before he can bring his proposition to ballot.

First, the D.C. Board of Elections must approve the initiative during a hearing scheduled for might 4. Should the board do so, Jerrels would then need to collect still 25,000 signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.

Another problem standing in his way lies with the history of his reported backer that is financial US Virgin Islands-based gambling businessman Shawn Scott.

According to filings that are legal by Jerrels, Anacostia Redevelopment, an LLC registered in Delaware, is bankrolling the video gaming push. Jerrels and Scott were also in paired up in 2006 to legalize video slots at the Anacostia that is same location but that measure failed.

Scott includes a checkered past when it comes to your gaming industry, though. He’s been denied licenses in numerous states, and ended up being slapped with a $600,000 fine for forging signatures in 2004.

Though Jerrels‘ and Scott’s past attempts failed, one asset for his or her campaign this time around might be the MGM nationwide Harbor, which is planned to start into the 2nd half of 2016. Seven miles due south of Anacostia, it may be a compelling attempting to sell point that as long as gaming is coming to the area anyway, it will make sense to help keep those revenues within town limits.

But the cost of bringing gambling to your city doesn’t, during the minute, have actually widespread help. Gambling the way that is old-fashioned been illegal in the country’s money for many years, and it doesn’t appear that will be changing anytime soon.

Phil Mickelson Gambling Pal Gregory Silveira Withdraws Guilty Plea in Money Laundering Case

Golfer Phil Mickelson refuses to comment about any potential involvement in the money laundering case against ex-handicapper Gregory Silveira. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Gambler Gregory Silveira, proven to have ties to golfer (and gambler) Phil Mickelson, has been facing charges of cash pop slots texas tea laundering in A los angeles court. But now Silveriera, who had formerly plead guilty to the costs, wishes to improve his plea to not.

The 56-year-old former recreations handicapper from La Quinta, California this past year admitted to three charges of laundering almost $3 million between an ‚unnamed gambling client,‘ who was later on identified by ESPN as Mickelson, and an illegal offshore sports book.

Mickelson, who is proven to have a fondness for gambling, is not named in court papers or accused of any criminal activity.

In March 2010, according to court documents, Silveira received a wire transfer of $2.75 million from your client into his bank that is own account. He then transferred $2.475 million, along with the remaining $275,000, into two split bank records, both in his name.


In accordance with ESPN’s Outside the Lines (OTL), a show that focuses primarily on American sports issues ‚both on / off the industry,‘ an early on variation of Silveira’s plea agreement contained a reference to ‚money laundering of funds from P.M.‘ When OTL inquired concerning the initials, the prosecution had the document stricken from the records, filing an amended version the day that is next.

But now Silveira wants to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming that he was merely seeking to guard ‚an individual who did maybe not wish their wagering activity to become general public.‘ The ex-handicapper claims he had been offered bad advice by his previous defense lawyer.

Court documents filed by Silveira’s new attorney, James Duff, stated: ‚Silveira’s original counsel had told him that the money Silveira received from the gambler was ‚tainted‘ and that Silveira’s transfer of those funds constituted money laundering tuesday. These tips was incorrect.‘

Duff adds in the court filing that the cash had been maybe not ‚tainted‘ and that Silveira ended up being simply settling a friend’s ‚gambling debt with lawfully earned money.‘

No (Sensical) Comment

Mickelson, meanwhile, refused (via his counsel) to offer an official statement on the case, although when confronted about it directly by way of a journalist at last year’s Scottish Open, he offered the following rather oblique comment about it all.

‚People are going to say things good; they are going to state things bad; they’re going to state things real; they’re going to express things maybe not real,‘ he stated. ‚The fact is, I’m comfortable enough with whom I will be as someone that I don’t feel like i would like to comment on every little report that comes out.‘

Mickelson is famously known for wagering large on the Super Bowl, and in 2001 was reprimanded by the PGA for wagering on the upshot of a padraig harrington shot at the NEC Invitational, in breach of the association’s strict policy that is anti-gambling.

More recently, in January, he chastised 17-year-old Australian pro Ryan Ruffles for publicly disclosing the details of a bet the two had made while sparring on the program. According to Ruffles, Mickelson offered him 2:1 for a $2,500 bet that the game would be won by him, but Mickelson lost by one shot. a disgruntled mickelson later said that the sum was indeed exaggerated.

Arizona Tribe Can Move Forward with Glendale Casino Expansion Following US Appeals Court Choice

The Desert Diamond West Valley Casino started to less-than-stellar reviews last December, but that should change after the Arizona tribe managing the Glendale facility won its lawsuit against hawaii to provide Class III games. (Image:

An Arizona tribe received the blessing of this US that is 9th Circuit of Appeals this week to expand its Glendale casino to include Class III gaming and mix slot machines and table games. In a lawsuit between the Tohono O’odham country vs. the State of Arizona, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Gila River Indian Community, the court ruled on Tuesday that the Tohono tribe has every right to work its Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort in Glendale, Arizona.

State lawmakers and the two opposing tribes argued that Tohono doesn’t always have the right that is legal operate a casino on land that wasn’t under their ownership when the Indian community reached its video gaming compact with Arizona in 2002.

In a unanimous decision, the 9th Circuit Court rejected their state’s arguments and ruled, ‚The Tohono O’odham Nation’s intend to develop a casino and conduct course III gaming on a certain parcel of land did not break a gaming compact between the country additionally the State of Arizona. The Compact expressly authorizes Class III video gaming ( dining table card games and slot machines) regarding the ‚Indian Lands‘ of the Nation.‘

Decision Beneficial To West Valley

Located less than 20 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino opened last December under much scrutiny.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian and Gila River Indian communities opposed the resort because of their very own self-interests, as the two tribes run gambling enterprises in the Phoenix regions of Chandler and Scottsdale.

Following many court decisions, the Tohono Nation was allowed to move ahead with its Glendale resort.

To date, the West Valley venue has only been permitted to offer Class II games. The category is defined by the Arizona Department of Gaming as being ‚limited to games or gambling products based on the game of bingo, and games in which players play just against one another, and the house cannot win.‘

The lack of slots and other popular commercial casino games has resulted in the West Valley Casino being panned by site visitors. Bringing Class III variants towards the casino floor should revitalize fascination with the facility, and, in turn, generate more revenues that are substantial.

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